These easy dishes don't require a ton of brainpower and contain ingredients that just might have you doing a dance of joy right in your kitchen.
By Lynn Andriani
The Better-Than-A-Bowl-Of-Pasta Carb
There may be a scientific reason why we crave starchy foods when we're feeling low; one hypothesis suggests carbohydrates can help your brain produce serotonin, which regulates moods. Even more interesting: While a square of lasagna may put an immediate smile on your face, complex carbs, such as quinoa, take longer to digest, making them a "time-release" happy pill. Try this bright and filling dish, which combines quinoa with broccoli, red bell pepper and pistachios. It also includes orange segments and orange juice (research shows that eating fruit can make you feel calmer, happier and more energetic, too).
Get the recipe: Quinoa Salad with Orange and Pistachio
You probably don't need science to tell you that a bowl of cold and creamy chocolate pudding has a good shot of quelling a bummed-out mood. And this dessert definitely delivers: It's rich and thick, with a kick from instant coffee or espresso powder; and healthy, too, since it's made with avocados (their flavor blends right in). Just for the record, though, chocolate's wonder powers probably come from a multitude of sources. Some experts think it's the serotonin-boosting carbs; others say it has chemicals that boost dopamine; still others say it's the pleasure from satisfying your craving that cheers you up. Whatever the reason, a batch of this pudding will make you feel much better than your average cookie would.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding